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Comunicar Journal 68: Networks, social movements and their myths in a hyperconnected world (Vol. 29 - 2021)

From the global myth to local mobilization: Creation and resonance of Greta Thunberg’s frame


Silvia Díaz-Pérez

Roger Soler-i-Martí

Mariona Ferrer-Fons


In 2019 the climate movement experienced an unprecedented growth in its mobilization capacity and its political and media impact. This success is closely linked to the rise of Greta Thunberg and her global impact, as well as to the organization effort of “Fridays for Future” in hundreds of local groups around the globe. This paper studies the connection between these two elements based on the movement frame analysis and its dissemination on social media. Through an analysis of the activists’ speeches and social media messages, Greta's key role in the establishment and evolution of a new frame for the climate movement can be seen. This is reinforced and legitimized with her own personal story told through the hero's journey or monomyth. Then, the inclusion and adaptation of Greta's frame in the local group of “Fridays for Future” in Barcelona based on the content analysis of its publications on Twitter and Instagram will be analyzed. The results show how, despite the reluctance regarding personified leadership, Greta's frame has a significant influence on the discourse of the local movement and on the “Fridays for Future” Barcelona’s social media followers. The analysis also provides empirical evidence of the relevance of glocal dynamics in online social movements.


Climate movement, frame analysis, social movements, monomyth, social networks, discourse analysis

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